Friday, February 9, 2007

Dispute over the Telecasting Issue between Nimbus and Doordarshan Getting More Complicated Making the Telecast of the India Vs. Sri Lanka ODI Series U

The uncertainty over the telecasting issue of the India vs. Sri Lanka ODI series is getting more complicated. Earlier the high court gave the verdict that the state run television channel Doordarshan will telecast each of the incidents of the match after seven minutes and NEO Sports will telecast the match live.

However, Nimbus Communications, the owner of the NEO Sports, rejected such sharing and that is why the Government has sent a show-cause notice to the Nimbus Communications.

RxPG News reported:

On Friday, Justice B.D. Ahmed of the Delhi High Court refused to grant conditional stay of a government ordinance asking private sports channels to share live feed of cricket and other sports events with public broadcaster Prasar Bharti, which makes it mandatory for Nimbus Communications, the owner of the NEO Sports, to share live feed with state-run Doordarshan.

Appearing before Ahmed, who is hearing the original petition, senior Counsel for Nimbus Harish Salve submitted that the signals of the free-to-air telecast of the Doordarshan - could be downloaded by the neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, the whole of Southeast Asia and Middle East causing irreparable loss to the private channel.

'The ordinance transgresses the constitutional limits and apart from violating the petitioner's fundamental rights, it also interferes with the power of the court to review the circular enforcing the private channels to share the feed,' said the petition.

Despite requests, Prasar Bharti did not fix decryption boxes in its 1,400 low power transmission - centres and the people in neighbouring countries were watching the matches free, said Salve.

Appearing for the government, Additional Solicitor General - P.P. Malhotra said the Nimbus petition should be dismissed as it had challenged the circular of the government contrary to its fundamental right enshrined in Article 19 of the Constitution.

Citing judgements of the Supreme Court, Malhotra said it was the fundamental right of every citizen to view and listen to cricket matches or sports events held in the country on TV or radio.

Malhotra read out the relevant portions of the ordinance saying that the private channel would have to share live feed with DD and All India Radio -.

I think the ongoing dispute between the two channels should be solved as soon as possible in order to make the way clear so that the fans can watch the match live on the television.